The Shield

happy menocal custom heraldry!

On our familial coat of arms: a serpentine cousin, bottle of Scotch, and pair of wise-cracking gargoyles.

But aptly named artist Happy Menocal has a rosier view of family, which she’ll emblazon onto colorful custom crests (think of hers as a whimsical approach to Medieval heraldry).

After two weeks of immersion friending (everything from music tastes to connectedness to nature is questioned), Menocal can bestow a quirky-but-never-cutesy symbol on newlyweds, a shield for a friend’s housewarming, or holiday-appropriate crest for your own clan.

She’ll dig deep, while alluding to intimate details subtly: A couple’s beloved Bernese isn’t rendered, but his fur becomes a regal, fringed border that hints at a king’s robe.

Original art is delivered on archival paper, along with a hi-res image on CD, so you can brand anything from T-shirts to holiday cards to flesh — depending how much Scotch is available.

Available by e-mail order (boss@happymenocal.com), $400. To see past work, go to

Illustration: Courtesy of Happy Menocal